Monday, July 5, 2010

Clandestine in La Jolla?

Maybe because of the holiday, this week is a bit light as far as new releases go, but here are a few worth noting - if you're so inclined.  Remember, last week brought the release of David Mitchell's The Thousand Autumns of Jacob De Zoet - my pick of the year!  Don't be the last one on your block!

Gotta have some Beach Reads:
It All Began in Monte Carlo by Elizabeth Adler - part of a series of summer, crime, romance novels. From the publisher blurb: "Sunny Alvarez and Mac Reilly always seem to find trouble in the south of France. This time, all the trouble began in Monte Carlo."  Nuff said.

The Island by Elin Hilderbrand - the author lives on Nantucket, so, presumably knows how to craft a good beach read.  In fact, Kirkus Reviews calls her the "Queen of the summer novel" and claims that The Island is so "deliciously addictive that it will be the 'It' beach book of the summer." 

The Cookbook Collector by Allegra Goodman - Publisher's Weekly: "If any contemporary author deserves to wear the mantel of Jane Austen, it's Goodman, whose subtle, astute social comedies perfectly capture the quirks of human nature. This dazzling novel is Austen updated for the dot-com era..."  Starred reviews from Kirkus, Library Journal, and PW - a pretty good pre-pub start.

A little Nonfiction:
Golden Gate: The Life and Times of America's Greatest Bridge by Kevin Starr - Starr, our state's preeminent historian, will be on KPBS's These Days on Thursday, July 8th if you want to hear him speak about the new book.  This slim volume is his history of the bridge over the Bay and how it has become the quintessential icon of California.

And a rediscovered classic:
Clandestine in Chile by Gabriel Garcia Marquez - a handsome little paperback reissue by New York Review of Books of a title by the Nobel laureate that has been out of print for several years.  Garcia Marquez wrote this report back in 1985 about Chilean film director Miguel Littin's return to his homeland after 12 years in exile.  Littin was banned from returning by dictator Augusto Pinochet, but snuck into the country using a false passport and proceeded to make a documentary film about life in Pinochet's Chile.  Pinochet was not happy about this.  But, miraculously, Littin got away with it and gave Garcia Marquez a series of interviews on his experiences.

Coming up this week at the store:
  • Connie Mariano, former physician to presidents, discusses her memoir, The White House Doctor on Wednesday night at 7:30.
  • At the Beach Storytime for the kids!  Thursday at 11am.
  • Marlene Wagman-Geller, author of Eureka! The Surprising Stories Behind the Ideas That Shaped the World on Thursday evening at 7:30.
  • On Sunday we're having a 50th Anniversary Celebration of Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird down at the La Jolla Library at 2:00pm.  Author Susan Vreeland will be there to lead the discussion and we will be having a screening of the film with Gregory Peck (or at least, a portion of the film.)  Bring the kids!
And, Friday night, join us for an important panel discussion about the future of the Arts in San Diego at 7:30pm. On the panel will be UT editor, Jeff Light, former UT art critic and books editor, Robert Pincus, literary agent, Sandra Dijkstra, director of the Contemporary Art Museum, Hugh Davis, and KPBS Arts & Culture producer, Angela Carone. 

Also, Alice Munro and Marcel Proust share a birthday this Saturday the 10th.  Would they celebrate together if given the opportunity?

And... follow along with my reading of James Patterson's latest novel (well, second latest now) on The Book Catapult.  I am in the midst of following through on my earlier threat to read one chapter of Patterson's The 9th Judgment every day - I call it 117 Days of James Patterson - and I'm currently somewhere around Day 67.  Check it out.

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